Katz Files: My Weekly TNA Notebook!

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz

My Weekly TNA Notebook

The Kingfish Arnie Katz presents his analysis of topics raised by the 9/18 episode of iMPACT

The episode, titled “The Return o Double J,” led with a live appearance by Samoa Joe to begin the hype for his match against Sting at Bound for Glory.

Samoa Joe fired back at sting in reaction to the Icon’s interview on last week’s iMPACT. He said that he, Christian Cage and Kurt Angle had been going up and down the road for TNA, taking the bumps and bruises, while Sting lolls around his palatial estate.

“When was the last time you sacrifice anything for TNA?” Joe demanded.

The Kingfish Comments: Samoa Joe did an excellent job kicking off one of TNA’s strongest TV shows in the last few months. His rant balanced Sting’s previous comments in the feud

It now appears that they are trying something rather unusual with this angle. Neither faction is “right” to produce a conflict in which neither side is in the wrong. Yet they haven’t resort to the “misunderstanding” idea; both sides know what they believe and are angry at the other faction for hold the opposite opinion.

It’s clever, but will it put fannies in the seats? The problem with the feud is that fans are likely to see the validity of both positions and, as a result, not feel that much is at stake.

It’s hard to see why they’ve decided to go this route. The older wrestlers in this feud, with the exception of Sting, are already heels and the younger ones are all basically babyfaces. Where such factors already exist, it’s seems like a mistake not to weave them into the plot. Of course, then they’d have to get Sting to deliver a heel interview, which he doesn’t seem willing to do.

A prerecorded video showed Jeremy Borash meeting Jeff Jarrett when he arrived at the arena earlier in the day. It is clear that he is aiming, ultimately, at a confrontation with Sting.

Kurt Angle came to the announce table with two items on his agenda. He said that he and Jeff Jarrett would soon be meeting and he demanded his medal back from AJ Styles, already in the ring awaiting a match.

The Kingfish Comments: and sp the second match on the Bound for Glory card begins to take shape. I do question, however, the wisdom of bringing the Olympic Medal into it at this juncture. Maybe they were just trying to make sure that the fans don’t forget about that precious bit of gold during the build up to Angle-Jarrett.

AJ styles & Christian Cage d. Motor City Machine Guns

Security removed Kurt Angle from ringside prior to the start of the match.

AJ Styles and Chris Sabin had an absolutely breathtaking run of chain wrestling at the start of the match. The speed and athleticism impressed everyone in the arena.

When The Phenomenal One tried to end the match with an Armbar submission, the announcers referenced the recent martial arts match against Frank Trigg.

While Christian Cage and Alex Shelley battled in the ringside area, AJ caught Sabin with the Styles Clash and made the pinning cover.

Grade: A-

The Kingfish Comments: The reference to MMA brought shudders at the mere thought that TNA may not have abandoned the idea of injected MMA into pro wrestling. The mere thought of more matches like the one on No Surrender makes me queasy.

After the match, the two teams went through a round of handshaking to show mutual respect. Unfortunately, it ended when Alex Shelley “flipped off” Christian Cage.

The Kingfish Comments: There doesn’t seem to be much question that a heel turn is in progress. While it could result in Shelley and Sabin feuding with each other, it’s a lot more likely that the Machine Guns will go into the just-announced tag tournament as rulebreakers.

Jeremy Borash had a conversation with Booker T and Sharmell in the couple’s palatial dressing room.

Booker fumed about a lack of respect. He pushed both his match on this show against Black Machismo and a future collision with AJ Styles.

Booker T is now carrying a metal briefcase. Unless it has a new WWE contract, I imagine we’ll find out about it soon enough.

The Kingfish Comments: The “palatial dressing room” originally belonged to TNA champion Samoa Joe who gave it to Booker T. Wasn’t that a show of respect along the same lines, but bigger, than the often-mentioned surrendering of a seat in the locker room to the veteran?

As a long-time fan of Booker T, I want to appeal to him to drop the artificial diction. It makes him sound like a dork and also undercuts attempts to emote his dialogue.

Lauren interviewed Sheik Abdul Bashir, who laced his rant with Arabic-sounding phrases. He ridiculed American for worrying about the stock market drop when people are actually dying in other parts of the world.

“This belt is my hostage,” he declared.

The Prince Justice Brotherhood d. Johnny Devine, Jimmy Rave * Petey Williams

Curry Man came over the top with a Springboard that took out Petey Williams after the heels had a miscommunication.

Curry Man and Christy Hemme had a little interaction early in the match, but it didn’t amount to much.

After the match, Rave and Devine blamed Williams for the loss and combined against him. Referee Shane Sewell evened the odds by helping Maple Leaf Muscle. Together, they drove the heels out of the ring.

Grade: C+

<B<The Kingfish Comments: The first question is to wonder why it wasn’t the Roc n Rave Inflection and Petey Williams instead of inserting Johnny Devine into the contest. I’m not against him getting a pay day, but it looks weird to do it that way when there is already an established team.

It looks like Petey Williams is veering back toward being a babyface. The next step would figure to be removing Rhaka Khan as his escort.

Sting, interviewed by Jeremy Borash, told Jeff Jarrett that this is the time for him to speak or forever hold his peace.

“Operation Immortality” is sending a collect of digital DNA to the International Space Station, including that of Matt Morgan.

The Kingfish Comments: Making this of much greater personal interest to me was the information that the digital DNA will be taken into space by my old friend Richard Garriott, best known to the world as Lord British, designer of the Ultima computer and online games.

Lauren interviewed Matt Morgan and Abyss. The Blueprint apologized for humping to conclusions about last week’s chairshot. He watched a tape of the match and saw that abyss hadn’t done it.

Abyss tore out some of his hair and gave it to Morgan as a gift.

When Matt Morgan announced that he’d signed up him and Abyss for the tag team tournament, Team 3D barged into the interview to state that they would be there, too.

The Kingfish Comments: Abyss snorted and cackling in a new, and most upsetting, way. It doesn’t seem necessary to make him a gibbering idiot to get his character over with the fans.

Jacqueline went up to Hector Guerrero, seated at the Spanish announce table, and smacked him in the head. Beer Money then followed her lead and attacked Guerrero, too.

They hauled Hector into the ring and beat him until LAX rushed the ring to make the save.

The Kingfish Comments: They’ve obviously decided to extend the feud, at least through the tag team tourney at Bound for Glory.’

Traci Brooks, speaking from the upper stage, ordered everyone into Jim Cornette’s office.

A video positioned Roxxi as the first hardcore female wrestler.

Traci Brooks set a six-person match between LAX and Beer Money. The team that loses must give up their manager.

Sting came to center-ring to call Samoa Joe naive and immature. He said that Joe has forgotten that Sting paid his dues back in the day.

The Kingfish Comments: Sting did a nice piece of work here, attacking Samoa Joe without really drawing the fans’ wrath.

When Jeremy Borash interviewed AJ Styles and Christian Cage, the Phenomenal One accused him of fomenting trouble between the teammates.

Indeed, there did seem to be some friction. Cage lost his temper at one point and shouted at Styles that he had made AJ the star he is today.

The Kingfish Comments: The incident with the Machine Guns on last week’s show and the argument on this one indicate that TNA is thinking of splitting up Cage and Styles again to feud them against each other. Ordinarily, that would be pretty standard, but it may be a bad idea in this case. Both Styles and Cage have had too many turns. Yet another one this soon might well destroy the fans’ interest in them.

Black Machismo said that he didn’t need Lauren’s pity. He claimed he’d been screwed – presumably not in a good way –- at No surrender and wants more pay back.

He bitterly denied that his “Black Machismo” character disrespects Randy Savage, whom he claimed to idolize.

The Kingfish Comments: It is curious that Jay Lethal delivered this whole interview in his own voice with no Macho Man shticks. Maybe he’s getting ready to tone down, or even abandon, the gimmick.

Booker T (with Sharmell) d. Black Machismo

Sharmell distracted the referee as Jay Lethal attempted to come off the top. Booker stopped him in mid-air! Sharmell banged the ropes to dislodge Lethal and Booker T used the Ax Kick to end the contest.

Grade: B-

The Kingfish Comments: This is a hard match to understand in the greater context of the promotion as a whole. Granted, Jay Lethal lost due to outside interference, but Booker didn’t seem to have a lot of trouble disposing of him.

If this is the start of an extended program, it’s a funny way to begin a feud. And if it was just a one-night affair, it’s strange that they would give Jay Lethal such a lackluster loss.

Taylor Wilde & Rhino d. Velvet Sky & Kip James

Angelina Love gave Velvet Sky a lead pipe, but she swung and missed when she tried to use it. Taylor Wilde connected with a kick and rolled her up for the victory!

Grade: B-

After the match, the Beautiful People attacked the winners and left they prone in the ring.

When Kip left, Taylor Wilde made a comeback and leveled both of the female heels with a Wingspread Clothesline.

Kip James came back and advanced upon Taylor Wilde with obvious intent. Just at that moment, Awesome Kong rumbled down the ramp to the ring.

Without hesitation, Wilde climbed to the top turnbuckle and flattened the number one challenger with a Cross Body Press!

Back from commercial, Awesome Kong and the Beautiful People had captured Taylor Wilde and Rhino. They put paper bags over both their heads.

A very long video chronicled Jeff Jarrett’s pivotal role in the founding and growth of TNA.

“I had a vision,” Jeff Jarrett told fans when he came to the ring. He said that he had created TNA in hopes of giving young, talented wrestlers the change to get the break they needed.

Double J stressed his role as the founder and thanked the fans for their support.

When Sting joined him in the ring, Jarrett shot, saying that his father had given Sting his break in the business.

The King of the Mountain said that Sting is “full of crap” and praised the contributions of Samoa Joe, AH Styles and the rest in building the promotion. He stated that WCW went out of business because the veterans refused to “pass the torch” to the younger guys.

Jarrett said that Booker T, Angle and Sting just want to “take, take, and take.” Jeff added that he won’t stand for that attitude in TNA.

When Kurt angle came to the ring, Jarrett told him that picking him as his successor was the worst decision of his tenure with TNA. “The only thing you have left to lose is your stinkin’ dignity,” Double J told Angle.

Kurt retorted that he had carried TNA for two years without so much as a “thank you” from Jarrett.

Kurt angle challenged TNA’s founder to a match. When Jarrett declined, Angle ordered him out of the ring, saying it was only for wrestlers.

The Kingfish Comments: I’m not sure this was the best way to climax the show, but it proved a very effective dramatic section. Jeff Jarrett did a fantastic job with the mic, perhaps the best single interview he has ever done.

Mick Foley’s surprise appearance on the big screen ended the show.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I hope you’ll come back to join me – and bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
[email protected]
(9/22/08)